Atlas Copco Compressors has appointed Ben John as business line manager for Industrial Air in the UK. Commenting on his new position in the company, Ben John said “I am very excited to be returning to Industrial Air and believe that we have the right team, solutions and product roadmap to really help our customers reduce their environmental footprint and operating costs.” In 2004, when John was studying for his degree in Advertising, he started working part- time for Atlas Copco, until January 2006 when he was appointed as a full-time aftermarket sales engineer. In 2007, when Atlas Copco created its Compressor Technique Service Division, John moved to the company’s UK HQ in Hemel Hempstead to start a newly created role as product marketing engineer. In 2010, John moved to Atlas Copco’s head office in Antwerp, Belgium, as business development manager, Indirect Sales. His task was to develop and implement a global strategy for the distribution business. This involved rolling out the strategy to Atlas Copco teams around the world, for them to introduce to their local distributors. 2014 saw a move to marketing communications manager, with responsibility for 18 global compressor brands, and in 2016 John became the global competence development manager for the Industrial Air Division. In 2017 he became the business line manager for the Power Technique Service Division, before briefly leaving the group. Since 1 August, John has been helping end users to ensure their compressed air and industrial gas installations operate at optimal energy efficiency. He is also developing the competence of the sales team, to improve market share and maximise market opportunities. Alexander Pavlov, general manager UK & Ireland, comments: “I am confident that with such a broad experience across different divisions and business areas, including international assignments, Ben will be successful in the new role and will bring our Industrial Air business to the next level.” KEB Automation has appointed Mark Checkley as managing director of KEB (UK) Ltd. Checkley takes over the reins from Tom Skelton, who has retired after serving more than 27 years with KEB, with 15 years as managing director. Checkley, who will be based at KEB UK’s offices in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, has spent more than 29 years working in the industrial automation industry. After graduating, he began his career as an Applications Engineer and progressed from this into sales as a sales engineer and then business development manager at several leading industrial automation suppliers. Since joining KEB in 2016 as sales and market manager, Checkley has played an active role in the company’s increased profile and sales growth. He now takes over as managing director with a clear mandate to increase growth through the full KEB portfolio and with a new expanded sales force. Checkley comments: “I am really excited to be taking on the responsibility for KEB’s operations and sales in the UK. We see strong growth potential in the UK, particularly with KEB’s recently introduced products and new products currently being developed. As a technology leader in our field, our UK team of engineers play a key part in helping to expand our customer base. We place the highest value on customer relationships and improving the total cost of ownership by delivering the right technical solutions for customers. We are actively seeking to recruit new engineers into this team.” 52 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS October 2021 www.hpmag.co.uk Atlas Copco Compressors appoints new business line manager NEW FACES KEB UK announces new managing director Mark Checkley (left) and Tom Skelton at KEB UK’s site in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (Photo: KEB). Ben John. Dr. Johannes Schmitz has taken over the position of director research & development (R&D) at Linde Hydraulics GmbH & Co. KG. Dr. Schmitz joined from the Weichai Power Science & Technology Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany, where he has been Head of System Technology in basic development of hydraulics and system technology since July 2020. From 2014 to 2020, Dr. Schmitz already worked in the R&D department at Linde Hydraulics. Here, he was involved in development projects with increasing responsibility and successfully managed them. Dr. Schmitz has in-depth product and system knowledge. He has already proven his teamwork and leadership skills in cooperation with the R&D divisions of Linde Hydraulics in Germany and China as well as with the Innovation Center in Aachen. Dr. Schmitz graduated as an engineer from RWTH Aachen University (2011) and also received his PhD there (2015). New R&D director for Linde Hydraulics